Prune and Armagnac Soufflé

Preparation info

  • Makes

    6

    Servings
    • Difficulty

      Medium

Appears in

Lighter, Quicker, Better: Cooking for the Way We Eat Today

Lighter, Quicker, Better

By Richard Sax and Marie Simmons

Published 2000

  • About

Prunes and Armagnac are traditionally paired in the southwest of France. Instead of starting with a roux-thickened cooked sauce base as would be done there, you begin by lightening a prune puree with beaten egg whites. Except for a small amount of sugar to stabilize the egg whites, this yolkless soufflé is sweetened only by the prunes themselves. Prunes are an excellent choice for flavoring healthy desserts; because they are so concentrated in flavor, a little goes a long way.

Ingredients

  • ½ pound moist pitted prunes
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 1 strip orange zest
  • 3 tablespoons Armagnac, cognac, or other brandy
  • 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

    Method

    1. Combine the prunes, water, orange zest, and Armagnac in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cover the pan and remove from heat. Let stand 15 minutes to steep. Remove the orange zest and stir the mixture vigorously with a wooden spoon to form a chunky paste. (The recipe can be prepared in advance to this point.)
    2. Place the bottom oven rack at its lowest position and remove the middle rack. Heat the oven to 400°F. Lightly spray a 2-quart soufflé dish with nonstick cooking spray or brush lightly with vegetable oil. Sprinkle with sugar, shaking out excess.
    3. Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating about 30 seconds after each addition, until the whites are stiff and shiny.
    4. Fold a spoonful of the whites into the prune puree to lighten. Spoon the prune mixture over the whites and gently fold just until the mixture is blended. Pour into the prepared soufflé dish. Smooth the top with a spatula; run your thumb around the mixture about ½ inch from the rim of the dish to form a high hat.
    5. Bake until puffed and golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Dust the top lightly with confectioners’ sugar and serve at once.